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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Robert Melara

Department Chair, Professor
Department Chair


Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership




NAC 7/201

p: 212-650-5716


  • Education

    Degree/Date: B.A., 1979 Institution: State University of New York at Stony Brook Specialization: Psychology

    Degree/Date: M.A., 1982 Institution: New School for Social Research Specialization: Psychology

    Degree/Date: Ph.D., 1987 Institution: New School for Social Research Specialization: Psychology

    Degree/Date: Post-doctoral Fellowship, 1987-1989 Institution: John B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale University Specialization: Sensory Psychophysics

  • Research Interests

    Dr. Melara measures the psychophysical (signal detection, reaction time) and electrophysiological (event-related potentials) activity of human participants as they perform tasks of visual, auditory, or cross-modal selective attention (i.e., making cognitive decisions within distracting environments).The goal of his research is to develop formal models of human attentional systems, models that explicitly link on-line physiological processing to momentary behavioral performance.

  • Publications

    Tong. Y., & Melara, R. D. (2007). Behavioral and electrophysiological effects of distractor variation on auditory selective attention. Brain Research, 1166, 110-23.

    Melara, R.D., Wang, H., Vu, K.-P.L., & Proctor, R.W. (2008). Attentional origins of the Simon effect: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence. Brain Research, in press.

    Liu, S. S., Melara, R.D., Chen, J., & Massara, F. (2008). Integration of consumer buying behavioral parameters with signal detection tests. Psychology and Marketing, in press.

  • Additional Information

    Professional Activities: Consulting Editor, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance Consulting Editor, Perception & Psychophysics.

    Current Projects: Melara, R.D., Brentari, D., Hansen, K., Shay, R., & Gonzalez, C. (2007). Effects of language experience on selective control in the Stroop task: Printed English, spoken English, and American Sign Language. Submitted.

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